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The Chinese Journal of Dental Research

Year 2003
Volume 6 , Issue 1

Pages: 18 - 27

Coincidence of TMJ Figures from Sagittal MR Images and Corresponding Macroscopic and Microscopic Sections

Jian-Jun He/Mei-Qing Wang/Tao Guo/Yao Ping Wu

Objective: To investigate the coincidence of figures obtained from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) magnetic resonance images (MRI) with microscopic and macroscopic figures. Material and Methods: Twenty-three TMJs from 12 cadaver heads, soaked in formaldehyde solution for more than 1 year, were included. Bilateral TMJs were subjected to oblique sagittal scanning by proton weighted series from which criteria of the joint were measured with an electronic ruler using Photoshop 6.0 software. Sagittal quarter sections of macroscopic and microscopic samples (stained by HE) were obtained and measured as well. Results: Disc form in the sagittal sections can be divided into the following 4 types. Type I, shaped like an inverted S, consists of a thick anterior band, a thin intermediate zone and a thick posterior band of different thickness. Type II had a thicker posterior band but nearly even thickness of the anterior band and intermediate zone. Type III had a thicker anterior band but nearly even thickness of the posterior band and intermediate zone. Type IV had an intermediate zone of the same thickness as the anterior or posterior bands so that no or very little difference was found among the 3 parts. Only 13/23 TMJs coincided in disc shape in all 4 sections according to MRI, macroscopic and microscopic (82.61% or 76/92 layers). An assessment of disc size showed that the disc area seen in MRI, macroscopic and microscopic sections were respectively 16.90 6.79 mm2, 22.72 6.44 mm2, and 14.40 5.19 mm2. Only a very small correlation was found between MRI and macroscopic section (r = 0.353) (p < 0.05), while there was no obvious correlation between MRI and microscopic section, and between macroscopic section and microscopic section. The lateral section of the articular disc, shown in MRI and both macroscopic and microscopic section, was the smallest of the 4 layers. No obveious difference in articular eminence inclination was found among the layers of the joint quarters (P > 0.05), but the inclination of the lateral layer was not correlated with that of the other layers. The correlation of MRI sagittal figures showed that the area of articular space was obviously larger than that of articular disc inner articular space (Table 10, p < 0.01), while there was no obvious difference between the areas of articular disc inner articular space and that of the intact articular disc in section (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Proton weighted MRI scanning shows the osseous structure of the TMJ well, but shows only 82.61% coincidence rate for disc form. The variation in tissue properties and the inner pressure of the TMJ may be the explanation. Articular space at intercuspal occlusion has a definite effect on disc form.



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